Road trip Gaularfjellet in Norway 🇳🇴
The road trip Gaularfjellet is one of Norway’s best kept secrets. Along the way you will pass many waterfalls and the waterfall hiking trail! Read all about the route, highlights along the way and which sights there are near the road trip route.
About the road trip Gaularfjellet
The road trip Gaularfjellet is a 70 mile (114 kilometer) long tourist route in Norway. Despite the fact that the route is not very well-known, it is one of the most beautiful in the country. The route leads over Gaular, the mountain located between Dragsvik and the Sognefjord. The Sognefjord is the longest fjord in Norway and also one of the longest in the world.
Construction of the road trip Gaularfjellet
Already in the middle of the 19th century there were plans for the construction of the mountain road over the Gaular. In 1853 an attempt was made to obtain the financial means for the construction of the route, which then failed. Almost 100 years later, the plans were finally realized and the mountain road could be opened in 1938. After its opening, the road soon became an important road for the transport of goods. Today it is mainly a tourist route.
Two end points of the route
The road trip Gaularfjellet consists of two roads. The route starts as Fylkesvei 613 at the ferry in Balestrand and runs past the highlights of Utsikten, Tornesstølen and Likholefossen to the fork at the village of Vik in Sunnfjord municipality. At the fork you can choose to stay on Fylkesvei 613 towards Moskog or take Fylkesvei 610 to Sande. Both stretches of road are part of the road trip Gaularfjellet.
Route of the many waterfalls
The route is beautiful because of the many waterfalls, yet the road trip Gaularfjellet is relatively unknown as scenic route. Among other things, the Likholevossen is located along the road, at this waterfall you can walk over a bridge over the water flow.
The road trip Gaularfjellet runs along the Gaularvassdraget, a government-protected watercourse with several waterfalls and wild rapids. In the vicinity of the road you can also walk the almost 15 mile (25 kilometer) waterfall path from Nystølen to Elsdal or the 13 mile (21 kilometer) long Fossestien Waterfall Trail along the river Gaula, the path and the river are parallel to the road trip Gaularfjellet. There are 29 large waterfalls along the Gaula, with the Likholefossen as the highlight.
Partly closed in the winter period
The route is partially closed in the winter months, because there is too much snow to drive on the mountain road. At its highest point, the road is 784 meters above sea level, where a lot of snow falls in winter. The section between Mel and Mjell is usually closed to traffic from December to the end of April. The closure and opening of the road trip Gaularfjellet is subject to weather conditions.
The Likholefossen can be reached in the winter months from Moskog or Sande.
Most beautiful tourist route in Norway
The road trip Gaularfjellet is 1 of the 18 National Scenic Routes, in Norwegian these roads are called Nasjonale Turistveger. These 18 tourist routes have been declared the most beautiful routes in the country by the Norwegian government. On and along these routes you can see the most beautiful sights in Norway and special viewing platforms have also been built in many places. With its beautiful nature and many special waterfalls, it is not surprising that the route is one of the most beautiful roads in the country.
Route and highlights of the road trip Gaularfjellet
There are many beautiful waterfalls along the road trip Gaularfjellet, which are also the biggest highlights of the tourist route. Dozens of waterfalls and various other sights can be seen along the route. The highlights of the route are in a row from Balestrand towards Moskog and Sande.
Utsikten viewing platform
At the top of the Vetlefjord, 700 meters above sea level, the architectural viewpoint Utsikten has been built. From the platform you have a view of the beautiful landscape, the Fylkesvei 613 that meanders over the mountain, the deep valley and the 1500 meter high mountains. There are sanitary facilities at the lookout point. In the winter months, the viewing platform is not accessible, because part of the route is closed due to snowfall.
The Tornesstølen artwork is located along the route. This artwork by Marianne Heier is a well, where you can pump up water from the Gaular area. In total there are 10 wells, 1 of which is located along the road trip Gaularfjellet. The other 9 wells are in Malawi. There is a shortage of clean drinking water in the country and the artwork calls for attention to this. The artwork is not wheelchair accessible.
The Likholefossen is one of the many waterfalls along the route, but certainly the absolute highlight. Via a bridge you can walk over the waterfall and see the powerful and wild water flowing up close. From the Likholefossen you can walk the Fossestien, this mile long path along the screened river Gaula takes you to several large waterfalls.
Hiking trail Fossestien
The Fossestien Waterfall Trail, also known as The Waterfall Path, is a total of 13 miles (21 kilometers) long hiking trail. The walking route along the Gaula River passes 14 waterfalls and 7 lakes. The Fossestien hiking trail runs from Tornesstølen to Eldal. There are also parking spaces along the way at Longestølen and Likholefossen, so it is possible to walk part of the trail.
The above attractions are all along the road trip Gaularfjellet between Balestrand and Vik, before the route splits into the Fylkesvei 610 towards Sande and the Fylkesvei 613 towards Moskog.
The Vallestadfossen is a special and powerful waterfall. It is almost 90 meters high in total and looks picturesque. You can park your vehicle along the road to go to the waterfall. In the past, the power of the waterfall was used to power a hydroelectric power station, sawmills and mills, among other things.
The Vallestadfossen is located along the road trip Gaularfjellet (Fylkesvei 613) towards Moskog, miles (kilometers) after the junction with the Fylkesvei 610.
Church Hestad Kapell
The ancient Hestad Kapell is a listed monument and is located on a ridge between Lake Viksdalsvatnet and the Hestadfjord. The church stands on the site where a stave church previously stood from 1327 to 1805 and is partly built with material from this stave church. The church is located right next to the Fylkesvei 610 and is therefore clearly visible from the route.
With the many waterfalls along the road trip Gaularfjellet, there is plenty to see. There are some waterfalls that are extra special, such as the Eikelandsfossen. It is one of the most powerful waterfalls along the Gaula River. The waterfall is located along the Fylkesvei 610 towards Sande.
The river Gaula is also known as an excellent fishing spot for trout fishing. The river is one of the four major salmon rivers in Norway and is even considered one of the best fishing locations in Europe.
Highlights near the road trip Gaulargjellet
The road trip Gaularfjellet is one of the most beautiful routes in Norway and is therefore one of the highlights of the country. Because Norway is so big and has many sights, it is never possible to explore the entire country during a holiday or tour. To get the most out of your trip, we recommend planning well and researching beforehand which sights are close together in the area. Below are a number of places of interest in the vicinity of the route.
Rørvikfjellet and Haukedalen
The Rørvikfjellet, also called Fv483, is a nearly 6 mile (10 kilometer) road to the village of Haukedalen. From the Fylkesvei 613 in the direction of Moskog, you turn off onto this mountain road. The road runs along the beautiful blue lake Haukedalsvatnet and gives you a nice view of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The road is also a popular cycling route.
Norwegian Glacier Museum
The Norwegian Glacier Museum, called the Norsk Breemuseum in Norwegian, is located in Fjaerland. For Norwegian standards it is close to the National Scenic Route Gaularfjellet, although it is about an hour’s drive from Moskog.
The museum focuses on the nearby Jostedalsbreen glacier and the Jostedalsbreen National Park in which the glacier is located. The museum is open daily from April to the end of October. A climate center is also located in the building.
With a length of about 126 miles (204 kilometers), the Sognefjord is the longest fjord in Norway and is also one of the longest fjords in the world. With such a length, it is not difficult to see part of the fjord on a tour of the country. One end of the road trip Gaularfjellet is located on the Sognefjord, Balestrand is located on the fjord. In the vicinity of Balestrand you can also take the ferry to the other side, with which you immediately take a boat trip over the Sognefjord.
In the west of Norway a number of National Scenic Routes are located close to each other. The National Scenic Routes are officially the 18 most scenic routes in the country. Because several routes are located together in Western Norway, they can easily be combined with each other. This allows you to see the most beautiful highlights that the country has to offer in a relatively short time.
The 29 mile (48 kilometer) long road trip Aurlandsfjellet is also known as the snow road, as there is snow all year round. The highest point of the route is more than 1,300 meters above sea level. The Aurlandsjellet can be combined with a ride through the Laerdal Tunnel and a visit to the Aurlandsfjord.
The road trip Sognefjellet is also nearby and can be combined with the Gaularfjellet and the Aurlandsfjellet. The Sognefjellet is 67 miles (108 kilometers) long and is seen as the gateway to Jotunheimen National Park. The highest point of the road is located at 1434 meters above sea level, making it the highest mountain road in Northern Europe.